We’re excited to announce a new tool now available in Blackboard called Ally. Ally is a course content accessibility tool that integrates with Blackboard, allowing instructors to address accessibility issues. Ally also provides alternative formats for course files, which gives students the ability to download course content in a format that meets their needs. By improving the learning experience for all students, Ally helps to support Harper’s commitment to a more inclusive campus.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure, don’t worry – Ally is a tool to help start the conversation about how your materials can be made more accessible for all students. In fact, many accessibility practices make it easier to manage documents, which can be a timesaver for faculty. Remember, you are not alone! The Academy for Teaching Excellence has resources, workshops, and staff to help and support the use of Ally.
Here are some ways to learn more about Ally:
- Visit the Academy’s Ally Support Page
- Attend the 15-minute Ally presentation on August 19 at 11 a.m.
- Attend the Ally drop-in session on August 19 from 1-2:20 p.m.
- Ally workshops will be held on the following dates (registration can be found here)
- August 31: 10-11:30 a.m.
- September 1: 1-2:30 p.m.
- September 2: 4:30-6 p.m.
If you have questions about Ally or the accessibility of your course content, fill out the Academy Request Form to be connected with an Academy team member who can help.
While Ally can help ensure that your documents are more inclusive for all, it is NOT a replacement for Access and Disability Services (ADS)! Some students will still require individualized accommodation work. However, by following Ally’s recommendations, you are engaging in best practices for teaching and inclusion leaving ADS to focus on specialized accommodation needs for your students.